Isaac Hernandez could just about pinpoint the moment.
It was after a competitive first quarter, after a few back-and-forth sequences to start the game, and after a few minutes getting into the groove, when it all started coming together — and the Bronchos started to glide their way across the floor.
It all came together again.
“It was just clicking for us,” Hernandez said.
The Odessa High boys basketball team found its familiar stride in the second quarter and the Bronchos rolled to a 60-36 victory over Wolfforth Frenship on Friday in the OHS Fieldhouse.
Odessa High outscored Frenship 22-10 in the second quarter, knocking down shots in bunches and playing with a rhythm that’s powered the Bronchos to an exceptional first half of district play — and, once on top Friday night, Odessa High never looked back.
The Bronchos led 35-18 at the break and cruised in the second half, to get to 20-6 on the season, and finish a first go-around against District 2-6A opponents at 4-1.
Odessa High stands second in the league standings at the halfway point of the district schedule.
Having won four of five in the first half, the Bronchos have earned the program its best win percentage during a half of district play since the 2010-11 season, when the Bronchos earned a share of a district championship.
Friday night, Odessa High led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter, then separated itself midway through the second, with Hernandez leading the charge.
Odessa High led 18-12 before Hernandez knocked down a 3-pointer, then after another Bronchos basket, Hernandez knocked down a field goal in transition, which only led to another Hernandez 3-pointer after another defensive stop.
Kaleb Murry then poked away a steal at half court and laid in a basket off the glass to force Frenship into a timeout down 30-12 late in the second.
“At first, when we started the game, we came out a little bit slow,” said Hernandez, who scored a game-high 25. “We picked it up in the second quarter.
“We started getting hot. We started feeling confident in our shots — and we played defensively well.”
It started with Hernandez, and, in a way, it ended with him as well. In the third quarter, Hernandez poked away a steal and scored at the other end to double up the Tigers on the scoreboard and give Odessa High a 46-23 lead. After another stop, Hernandez drilled a 3-pointer to make it 49-23 with about four minutes left to go in the third.
“I think he played his best game of the year,” Bronchos head coach Jance Morris said of Hernandez. “He was attacking, and getting to the rack, and he was creating for others.”
Miguel Fonseca knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half, to finish with 12 points. He hit two of those from range during the Bronchos’ big run in the second quarter, as Hernandez opened up the Tigers’ defense.
“I think we talked to him at the end of the quarter, saying, ‘We’ve got to start attacking this area of their defense. If you’ll do that, everything else will open up,’” Morris recalled, speaking of Hernandez.
“And it did.”
With five games down in a six-team district, the Bronchos now gear up for a series of rematches against each of their league foes to close the season.
Having won four of five, the Bronchos have set a milestone in finishing their most successful such single go-around against district opponents in seven seasons — but the Bronchos aren’t satisfied with that.
“I think the confidence is pretty high right now,” Morris said.
“We are 4-1, but really, we can celebrate that tonight, but tomorrow, we have five games left and everybody’s 0-0 again.”
WOLFFORTH FRENSHIP (13-15 overall, 1-4 District 2-6A)
Calaway Dykes 1 5-6 8, Jaden Lemons 0 3-4 3, Mario Urias 1 0-0 2, Landon Parrott 1 1-4 3, Noble Robinson 1 0-0 3, Skyler Newsome 2 0-0 4, Graham Cepica 1 0-2 2, Javier Rios 1 2-3 4, Drew Turnbow 3 0-0 6. Totals 11 12-21 36.
ODESSA HIGH (20-6, 4-1)
Keionshay Jones 0 2-2 2, Isaac Hernandez 9 2-2 25, Josh Cabello 2 0-0 5, Kaleb Murry 3 0-0 6, Brazeal 0 1-2 1, Miguel Fonseca 3 3-5 12, Memo Anaya 2 0-0 4, Cole Bordner 2 1-2 5. Totals 21 9-13 60.
Frenship………………. 8.. 10 10 8 — 36
Odessa High……….. 13.. 22 22 3 — 60
3-Point goals — Frenship 2 (Dykes 1, Robinson 1), Odessa High 9 (Isaac Hernandez 5, Miguel Fonseca 3, Josh Cabello 1). Total fouls — 18, Frenship 8. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — Frenship: Bench. Odessa High: Isaac Hernandez.
Team W L W L
Permian……………………… 23 3 5 0
Odessa High………………. 20 6 4 1
Amarillo Tascosa………… 17 9 3 2
Midland High………………. 11 15 2 3
Wolfforth Frenship………… 13 15 1 4
Midland Lee…………………. 7 20 0 5
x-clinched playoff berth
Friday, Jan. 26
Odessa High 60, Wolfforth Frenship 36
Permian 58, Midland High 44
Amarillo Tascosa 76, Midland Lee 35
Tuesday, Jan. 30
Odessa High at Midland Lee, 7:30 p.m.
Wolfforth Frenship at Permian, 7:30 p.m.
Midland High at Amarillo Tascosa, 7:30 p.m.